St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church invites the community to two Christmas events celebrating the season — Gingerbread Wonderland and Women’s Guild Christmas Luncheon.

Gingerbread Wonderland, 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, will transform Stacy Hall at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley into a Gingerbread Wonderland when the St. Mark’s Preschool hosts its eighth annual benefit event featuring the holiday creations.

More than 50 decorated gingerbread houses crafted by local students, families and businesses will be on display.

Guests can vote for and enter to win their favorite house with $1 raffle tickets. All proceeds benefit St. Mark’s Preschool.

St. Mark’s music director Beverly Staples will provide seasonal music while children create and decorate ornaments and prepare an angel halo for the 6 p.m. Los Olivos Christmas Tree lighting at the flagpole one block away.

“We are thrilled to host these family friendly activities for the community as part of the Los Olivos Olde Fashioned Christmas this year,” said Yvonne Lowe, preschool director. “This day is a wonderful way to celebrate the season.”

Students from Ballard School, Los Olivos School, Santa Ynez Charter School, Santa Ynez College School, Solvang School, and St. Mark’s Preschool decorate gingerbread houses for the event.

For more about participating in or attending Gingerbread Wonderland, contact St. Mark’s Preschool Office, 805-688-1815 or

The second holiday event is the Women’s Guild Christmas Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, which traditionally opens the holiday season in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Lunch will be catered by Alex Reyes of A&R Catering. The event features hors d’oeuvres and champagne in the courtyard, a festive meal, a raffle, and holiday entertainment featuring local vocalists and musicians led by parishioner and choir member Marnie Olmsted.
Tickets are $50, and the funds raised by the Women’s Guild support scholarships for the preschool, the community kitchen, college scholarships for local students, or Hillsides Organization (which provides help for children, youth, and families).

To reserve a spot, contact Yvonne Lowe, 805-688-1815.